Third Time's a Charm for Jay-Z, Rap's Cash King

Mogul discusses business, music as release approaches
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2009 1:15 PM CDT
Jay-Z attends the premiere of 'Cadillac Records' at the AMC Loews 19th Street theatre on December 1, 2008 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As he comes full circle with the Sept. 11 release of The Blueprint 3, exactly 8 years after the original Blueprint, Jay-Z discusses his journey from the projects of Brooklyn to the top of Forbes’ Hip-Hop Cash King list with Billboard. “We—Usher, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, myself—are becoming the people that we looked up to musically growing up, like Marvin Gaye and Frank Sinatra,” he says.

The rapper—whose empire includes a fashion line, music label, fragrances, and New Jersey Nets stakes—split with Def Jam partly because he felt “underutilized,” he says. “I’m an entrepreneur—that’s what I’ve been all my life. I can’t just sit here and make records and not do anything else.” And he has no plans of stepping aside: “You don’t become the front-runner in music because someone lets you.”